New Street could be the “best kept secret” day for Moonshine Arch near Vernal. break up
Tourism officials call the scenic Moonshine Arch near Vernal one of the “best kept secrets” in eastern Utah. The Utah Transportation Commission on Friday approved a project that could change that.
There was an OK to spend $ 1.5 million to relocate an access road to the starting point of the arch, about 8 miles north of Vernal off US 191. Signage will also be improved.
“Uintah County is improving the trailhead for Moonshine Arch and installing signposts, which will increase the number of visitors using the access road,” according to documents from the Utah Department of Transportation.
UDOT says a current dirt road to the bow crosses US 191 at a dangerous point in a high angle corner with limited visibility. The new intersection will be in a location with a clear view from all directions, provide space for a left turn lane, add signs and widen the hard shoulder for safer right turns.
The connection to the current road is “not very good under the best of circumstances,” said Kevin Van Tassell, a former Senator of Vernal State, a member of the Transportation Commission. “This arch is being visited more and more frequently. Leaving this curve will be a big plus for safety. “
Social media posts from visitors have often complained that finding the arch is confusing, but UDOT says the road and signage improvements should help resolve this.
Moonshine Arch is 85 feet long and 40 feet above the ground. The sandstone arch is revealed to the hiker on the last turn on a path. Tourism officials advertise that the arch’s window is a perfect frame for photos of the Steinaker Reservoir in the distance.
There are also sandstone caves behind the arch that visitors can explore or use as a shady rest stop.